STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics – is the field that helps children learn how to program, make codes, and understand technological devices. Statistics tell us there are currently more than a million job vacancies in the STEM industry, while at the same time only 16% of college students graduate in STEM fields or subjects. Demand for STEM jobs has increased threefold between 2000 and 2010, and continues to grow, with many new fields and professions emerging each day.
Therefore, we launched our EFDN STEM Network at Stamford Bridge, in London, in September 2019, together with 15 clubs and the Pro League. The first meeting was a coming together of like-minded, European football clubs and foundations, who wish to explore STEM education as a new community programme area and take their first steps towards driving innovation in STEM education through football.
The attendees learned how EFDN members Chelsea FC Foundation and Feyenoord Foundation set up their first programmes. Project managers Matt Mead and Carla Lagendijk explained how they set up the first STEM programmes in their clubs and answered questions regarding impact and challenges. Afterwards, all attending CSR practitioners had the chance to test Robot football and participate in a TruChallenge.
EFDN will further develop the EFDN STEM Network with special events and new resources on the EFDN online learning platform. We invite all interested clubs, leagues and FAs to join our special football based STEM initiative.